Firsts & Lasts with... Anna Higham, Head of Pastry for Lyles

First & Lasts

It is said that the two most important moments in a restaurant are the moment you walk in the door – the hello – and the moment you leave, the last bite you take, the last person you speak to – the end/goodbye. But so much of our life is shaped by first and lasts, so here we profile amazing women of the industry, talking about some of their first and last moments...

Anna Higham is Head of Pastry for Lyles restaurants, overseeing desserts and baking at Lyles and the recently opened Flor in Borough Market. Brighton-born, Glasgow-raised Anna started her career in architecture, but a passion for cooking and restaurants drew her into the kitchen. She moved to London in 2013 as part of the opening team for Bread Street Kitchen and then moved to Petrus, Knightsbridge, spending 3 years in the Gordon Ramsay Group. A year spent in New York institution Gramercy Tavern followed, igniting a passion and greater understanding of seasonal cooking. Anna has now been at Lyles for three and a half years, producing desserts that are defined by simplicity and flavour yet remain beautiful and true to Lyles’ passion for British cooking.


First kiss: When I was 27, in a taxi… can’t remember his name...

First cocktail ordered on a night out: Gin martini.

First food poisoning: Sausages at a church BBQ.

First job in hospitality: I would do some catering work in my early 20’s for friends but my first proper kitchen job was at Bread Street Kitchen. 

First thing you do to unwind after work: Shoes and socks off. 

First thing you do in the middle of a hellish service/day at work to stay level headed: Rewrite my list/request Erotic City by Prince to be added to the playlist.

First thing you do when you wake up: Bathroom. 

First thing you do when you plan a holiday: Find accommodation within walking distance of the places I want to eat at. 

Last thing you bought at an off license: Blue corn tortilla chips

Last three favourite places you ate in:

  1. Forest & Marcy in Dublin

  2. Lyles

  3. Brawn

Last song you listened to: Robyn, ‘Hang With Me’

Last podcast you listened to and what did you take away from it: Cherrybomb interview with Anna Jones. I love hearing women talk about food. 

Last glass of wine you really enjoyed & where: Brawn. I was with a group of pastry friends from NYC. We shared a magnum of Trinch by Catherine and Pierre Breton. My parents always loved an excuse to have a magnum and they loved going to the Loire together. 

Last time you had a proper day off and what did you do with it: I had to start packing up my flat as I’m moving soon. I did make a nice dinner, pour a big glass of wine and have a hot bath at the end of the packing.

Last time you exercised (body or mind): I went to London Fields Lido last week for a swim. 

Natalia Ribbe